When you consider TMS treatment for depression, you need to decide whether taking a course of TMS therapy fits into your schedule. This should not be a problem. TMS is normally available at a doctor’s office or an outpatient facility. TMS treatment has no side-effects which might affect your travel arrangements. You can, for example, drive to and from, your treatment center.
The effectiveness of TMS relies on multiple TMS sessions. Typically, you would attend one session per weekday for six weeks, or as your physician recommends. Afterwards, you are free to continue your daily routine.
What to expect?
TMS has been proven in clinical trials to be efficient in the treatment of major depressive disorder with approximately 50% of patients responding significantly to treatment and 15–37% of patients sustaining total absence of depression symptoms.
A clinician will seat you in one of our custom chairs, designed with your comfort in mind. As a first step, the clinician will attach a self-adhesive, disposable tracker "badge" onto your forehead for the duration of the session. Then, by pointing to select places around your head, the clinician will align, “co-register”, the 3D brain model to your actual head. Now you will be part of a system which knows, at all times, precisely where your head and brain are in relation to the TMS coil which gives the therapy.
Once you have found a comfortable position, your clinician will adjust the TMS coil to be over the cortex targeted for the stimulation, the left DLPFC. This will not take long, as the system has the exact positioning data from your first visit. The clinician will be able see from a computer screen when the setup is completed. Now you are ready for your treatment session. You should use earplugs or headphones offered. A trained user will stay with you at all times and will make adjustments, should you feel any discomfort.
Your healthcare provider needs the tools to make sure the right dose of TMS therapy is given to the right part of the brain. That probably sounds obvious to you - and it sounds obvious to us, too. But not to everyone, perhaps because it is not so easy. Brains are like people, we are all individuals – and different. Targeting TMS requires an MRI scan of your head for the healthcare provider to see into your brain, and sophisticated software to model the complexity of your individual head. This is what Nexstim SmartFocus® TMS does. And it is unique.
We have a science-based approach to treating depression. So, we will need the data provided by an MRI head scan. MRI scans are very common, non-invasive procedures. Your dcotor will help arrange your visit to a local imaging center.
Your first visit to the TMS treatment room will include a setup process. After loading your MRI head scan, the system will create a 3D view of your brain anatomy. Your clinician will use our science-based algorithm to identify the exact point for stimulation in the cortex, the left DLPFC. Next, your clinician will personalize the TMS dose to your needs. To do this, the clinician places several electrodes on the palm of your hand. These pick up the muscles’ responses to single pulses of TMS over the top of your head, the motor cortex. With this information, the clinician accurately and reliably measures the excitability of your brain, your "alertness". This setup process needs to be performed only once, taking around 20 min.
Displays 3D view of your brain from MRI scan
Personalizes the therapy to your brain state
Pinpoints the therapy target in your brain
See the therapy on target
- feel confident
Your vital data are saved - ready for your next session